Performance evaluation of MIND demons deformable registration of MR and CT images in spinal interventions

S. Reaungamornrat, T. De Silva, A. Uneri, J. Goerres, M. Jacobson, M. Ketcha, S. Vogt, G. Kleinszig, A. J. Khanna, J. P. Wolinsky, J. L. Prince, J. H. Siewerdsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Accurate intraoperative localization of target anatomy and adjacent nervous and vascular tissue is essential to safe, effective surgery, and multimodality deformable registration can be used to identify such anatomy by fusing preoperative CT or MR images with intraoperative images. A deformable image registration method has been developed to estimate viscoelastic diffeomorphisms between preoperative MR and intraoperative CT using modality-independent neighborhood descriptors (MIND) and a Huber metric for robust registration. The method, called MIND Demons, optimizes a constrained symmetric energy functional incorporating priors on smoothness, geodesics, and invertibility by alternating between Gauss-Newton optimization and Tikhonov regularization in a multiresolution scheme. Registration performance was evaluated for the MIND Demons method with a symmetric energy formulation in comparison to an asymmetric form, and sensitivity to anisotropic MR voxel-size was analyzed in phantom experiments emulating image-guided spine-surgery in comparison to a free-form deformation (FFD) method using local mutual information (LMI). Performance was validated in a clinical study involving 15 patients undergoing intervention of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. The target registration error (TRE) for the symmetric MIND Demons formulation (1.3 0.8 mm (median interquartile)) outperformed the asymmetric form (3.6 4.4 mm). The method demonstrated fairly minor sensitivity to anisotropic MR voxel size, with median TRE ranging 1.3-2.9 mm for MR slice thickness ranging 0.9-9.9 mm, compared to TRE = 3.2-4.1 mm for LMI FFD over the same range. Evaluation in clinical data demonstrated sub-voxel TRE (<2 mm) in all fifteen cases with realistic deformations that preserved topology with sub-voxel invertibility (0.001 mm) and positive-determinant spatial Jacobians. The approach therefore appears robust against realistic anisotropic resolution characteristics in MR and yields registration accuracy suitable to application in image-guided spine-surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8276-8297
Number of pages22
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 3 2016


  • CT
  • Demons algorithm
  • MIND
  • deformable image registration
  • image-guided surgery
  • multimodality image registration
  • symmetric diffeomorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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